Weekly Inspiration #50

Seriously, where do I even start with this week?

I know. Let’s start with the weather :). Normally I’m writing my opening rant in the pre-dawn darkness, wrapped up like an eskimo, finger-less gloves, scarf and woolly socks – the works. Not today though – I’m stealing time out of the mid-afternoon to write. It’s one of those days where the clouds have hung low all day, sometimes so heavy that they lie as if exhausted over the hills and mountains; sometimes there is a fine mist and all the time there is a damp chill pervading unbidden through unsealed cracks and crevices. We don’t take the cold at all seriously in Australia – every year we act startled and a little jacked up at the onset of winter. What? Winter again! How could that be?Β Are you seriously telling me that I can’t wear short sleeves and sandals for 3 whole months? How very unreasonable. There are always those people – mainly teenage girls and battered old farmers it seems – who refuse to submit to the seasons, wearing shorts and t-shirts all year, blue tinged goose pimpled arms and legs whitely exposed to the elements. I was one of those teenage girls so I get it, although I am long past understanding it :).

11215159_1578986275695650_6984122550258051927_nSaturday, Sunday, Monday. Under 12s soccer game in the morning, lunch and dinner with my brother and his family down for the long weekend, and a writerly weekend in politics at the Bellingen Writer’s Festival. My favourite things? Having a grown up weekend away with the Bear, doing something completely out of the ordinary, being stimulated intellectually and then having grown up, intellectual conversations with each other. The way that we used to talk to each other before kids and the ambushing of our airwaves. Also, he bought me presents – a blanket and a gorgeous bag. I love presents, I really, really do. Give me a present and I am yours forever πŸ™‚

Tuesday: Receive an email telling me that my application to go to University has been approved. What? Just like that? Cue all day excited giddiness πŸ™‚.Β Receive not one but two present packages in the mail from two different far away friends (did I mention that I love presents?) and to complete a perfect day, do Kakasana (crow) for the very first time in a MYOGA winter sequence. Apparently there is a reason we have spent the last six months building core and body strength. Who knew? I also gained some clarity and calm regarding a rather huge and intimidating catering event we are organising through the P&C which had been tormenting my nights – I actually think it’s going to work out :).

Presents in the mail

Wednesday: Get an early morning phone call from the Bear – he has broken down on the highway on his way to work. I spend half the day helping him get back on the road and trying to control my sense of outrage at the mechanics who did not fix the part as requested the day before. Not to mention that this was the 8th time that he had been to this mechanics in the past three weeks, for one simple job. I then go home, pick up the boys, take them to soccer training and come home.

Thursday: Wake up at 3:30am with a strong urge to work on a piece I had written a couple of months before which had potential but needed re-working. I had been to an editing and polishing workshop at the Festival and had learnt a few things – apparently you should not try to fix a crap sentence or paragraph but instead write a whole new one above the offending words and then when you are happy with it, cut the paragraph to be deleted and paste it into a (s)craps folder for later use. I published A Year at Home and Other Catastrophes later on when I thought I had done enough with it, and then spent the afternoon in a state of anxiety about having published it at all – who cares, too long, dull, self indulgent, whiny…the torment of a personal blogger πŸ™‚

Friday: Accepted my University offer and enrolled in my first two subjects. Spend all day in a slightly delirious state of excitement and terror. Except when I took my children to the dentist in the middle of the day, where the excitement temporarily subsided and terror rose to take its place. I’ve been meaning to talk about the whole children and dentist thing, and it probably deserves a separate post, but briefly – I worry a lot about my son and his teeth. I should mention here that my son is entirely unperturbed. We went to a new dentist today who I’ve taken my daughter to see a few times, and I blurted out how I felt to her. Best thing I could have done really – once she knew how I felt, she was able to reassure me (and my neuroses), give him a program to improve his dental hygiene and not do a single extraction or filling, thank goodness.

So, do you see why I didn’t know where to start with my week? It’s been a roller coaster, emotional, exciting and terrifying – but I’m facing up to my fears. Fear will not win. Ever.

What fears are you facing up to?

Best Long Read

How I Rescued My Brain: a psychologist’s remarkable recovery from stroke and traumaΒ by David Roland

22454047There was no stand out best short read for me this week – and I think it was probably because I was so engrossed in this book that I discovered at the Writer’s Festival bookshop on Sunday, and which I devoured in only four days. It seemed an uncanny fit with another aspect to this week that didn’t make it into my highlights: mental health. The Bear took a friend to hospital earlier in the week because of mental health issues that were making him a danger to himself. As you can imagine this was deeply confronting and upsetting for everyone involved. Along with reading this totally fascinating book, it reminded me of how very fragile our mental health can be, and also of the times in my life where I have felt fragile mentally. I remember the terrible, consuming anxiety that came along with my first pregnancy (a signpost, I later found, telling me that the child was severely disabled and unlikely to last the gestation let alone beyond). My mental skin becomes super thin for a couple of years surrounding birth and I have to be careful what I take in from the world – certain books, movies, media and even the most mild drugs like caffeine were avoided until my skin thickened again. Β I intuitively know this about myself, and treat my mental health with care – but so many people don’t, and the consequences are severe.

As a psychologist specialising in court assessments, David Roland often saw the toughest, most heartbreaking cases. The emotional trauma had begun to take its toll β€” and then the global financial crisis hit, leaving his family facing financial ruin.

So when he found himself in a local emergency ward with little idea of where he was or how he got there, doctors wondered if he had had a nervous breakdown β€” if the strain of treating individuals with mental-health problems had become too much. Eventually they discovered the truth: David had suffered a stroke, which had resulted in brain injury. He faced two choices: give up or get his brain working again.

Drawing on the principles of neuroplasticity, David set about re-wiring his brain. Embarking on a search that brought him into contact with doctors, neuroscientists, yoga teachers, musicians, and a Buddhist nun, he found the tools to restore his sense of self: psychotherapy, exercise, music, mindfulness, and meditation.

Best Watch

Well, I’m really sorry to do this to you – get some tissues – here however, the tears are just helping us see us how beauty and love go hand in hand with suffering and sadness, but only if we are awake enough to see. This is a mini movie, telling us the story of a man and his dog, from the dog’s perspective. Just beautiful, and thank you to Lisa from Carr Party of Five for sharing <3.

Best Words

β€œThe best remedy for those who are afraid,
lonely or unhappy is to go outside,
amidst the simple beauty of nature.
As longs as this exists, and it certainly always will,
I know that there will always be comfort for every sorrow, whatever the circumstances may be.
And I firmly believe that nature brings solace in all troubles.”
~Anne Frank

Best Poetry

I have been doing a little online course for the past few weeks called Witch Camp. It has been thoroughly delightful, and has consisted of daily writing tasks, a weekly theme and ritual, playing with cards, crystals and all kinds of other things. This week has been a little different though – the theme has been elements: air, fire, water, earth, wood and metal – and to explore them we have been playing with writing haiku. You know: Japanese poetry with three lines and a set rhythm: 5 syllables, 7 syllables, 5 syllables. I have never written haiku before, and it has been such a lot of fun – and useful too, Β because the three line limit and syllable structure means that you need to drill down and extract the essence of what you are trying to say. Good for a wordy girl like me πŸ™‚

Here’s one you might like:


The rain settles down
Clouds sinking, mist is rising
World wrapped in water

Do you write haiku?

Best Graphic


Well, there’ll be no star gazing here today as the damp weather has rolled over into another day. The boys have gone off to a faraway soccer game – it will take them just under two hours to get there. My daughter has a cold, and a friend has a bad knee which is keeping him at home, so we thought we might bake him some date scones and go sit by his fire and keep him company for a little while. It’s a dark moon this weekend, and I feel like bunkering down after this week: I am thinking cups of tea, games, movies and a start on my reading list for *ahem* my first University units :).

What’s on your radar this weekend?


Twitter – follow me on Twitter to see all of my other best reads that don’t quite make it on this blog, but are still awesome – I love a chat too, so come visit πŸ™‚.

Facebook – I have aΒ Practical Mystic Facebook page, where I share inspirational and thought provoking ideas, quotes and art. I would love to see you there πŸ™‚


  1. It has been a busy week here in the centre of the country too. The book interests me. I read ‘My Stroke of Insight’–a similar subject, but probably very different experience. Very exciting about your achievements with Yoga and Uni! Yes, I occasionally write poetry and Haiku. This one is not strictly Haiku but because I know you like this phase of the moon, here you go:

    Evening of 10/10/10

    Sliver, slip, Cheshire smile of a moon,
    Hiding your true calling under
    Lavender cape of sky,
    With twinkle of eye.

    Chip, chink, Diamond of light,
    Show us your self amidst
    Evening dusk of powder pink,
    Falling down quietly.

    Your post is inspiring as always. A highlight of my week’s reading! xxx

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I watched the video, way too sad. The sound drops out for about 45 seconds in the middle. Went to YouTube to watch it and same thing happens, but you can still get the idea, sad, sad.


  3. I love those words from Anne Frank. It’s so great to be able to take pleasure and comfort from such simple things. I’m wondering when she said this. Because at some point I know this wasn’t possible for her.


  4. That’s a lot of week, from the dentist -eeewwwh to the Bellingen Readers & Writers Festival – aaaahhhh. I’m a mechanic’s daughter and have zero tolerance for crappy workmanship anywhere but particularly there.
    I think because I’m indoors 9-5 5 days I don’t mind winter so much… and I hate humidity. I like cool weather food and wearing boots and jeans, and having the fire on at TA,
    Looking at the stars is our things at TA, all we see here is satellites. I’ve loved the Milky Way since I was a kid.
    The Anne Frank words made me think of my week, where respite has come from walking the long way home from the train station after work to re-centre myself… not strictly nature… down Newtown’s King Street but out in the world.
    I wasn’t going to watch the video, sad just undoes me, but when Ardys did I braved up. There were a lot of deep sighs, because I also said goodbye to an old dog and I have a soft spot for old dogs and cats, but I held it together, no tears. The G.O. will walk in the door anytime soon, and he’d go nuts (in a nice caring way) if he found me sitting here sobbing!
    I had such a slow start to a Saturday I was really looking forward to despite the G.O. being at work. Then I rallied and walked over to Eveleigh Farmers Market… so good. I bought the weeks fruit & veges, meat & eggs plus fresh ginger & turmeric from Bonville, dried sugar plums and homemade Worcestershire Sauce from Colleambally, plus falafels, baba ganoush & salad for lunch today and during the week πŸ™‚
    Since I got back I’ve made biscuits, put beef cheeks in the oven for dinner and corned beef simmering on the cooktop for during the week!
    I love haiku. Yours is the essence of rainy TA.
    This is one I wrote in response to some sheep paste-ups in the railway tunnel near our apartment.
    faux sheep flat city life
    monochrome facsimiles
    supplant the real ewe
    Woo hoo, you accepted the university offer. Congratulations. Have a great weekend.


    • Hi Dale πŸ™‚
      I think it might be a northerner thing, the refusal to acknowledge that winter is actually here πŸ™‚ I quite fancy it myself, mostly because I love seasons and the chance to go inwards for a while. I have a friend who grew up in Northern Queensland who takes the arrival of Autumn as a personal affront πŸ™‚
      I’m glad you watched the video – for me it wasn’t sad so much, just incredibly touching. I put a different video in because Ardys said that the sound disappeared in the middle of the other clip.
      You know something funny? While you’re yearning for TA, I’m yearning to walk down King street and go to fabulous city markets πŸ™‚ Humans – aren’t we adorable?
      And…I loved your Haiku – so clever!


  5. I have son teeth paranoia too! Particularly the front adult teeth – ah those adult teeth, it was ok when the baby ones were about. Parental Responsibility for a lifetime worth of adult teeth feels daunting to me at times.

    Haiku… Here is a little sharing from ‘the snow Leopard’, one of my nepal reads.

    Cloud men beneath loads A dark line of tracks in snow Suddenly nothing

    like the idea of playing around with this form. Shall see what jungle inspirations I find.

    Sent from Samsung tablet

    Liked by 1 person

    • I was sure there would be someone else out there who had teeth paranoia! The dentist asked me if there was anything that I was worried about (omg where do I start!) and I said that I was worried about him having no teeth at all :).
      Thank you so much for sharing that beautiful little haiku – it’s such a fun form to play around with isn’t it?


  6. Wow. Quite a whirlwind of a week! I celebrate all your happies with you, and hope you have emerged from the trials of the not-so-happies mostly unscathed.
    That Denali video was a total tear-jerker, but so beautiful.


    • Hi Jamie, I was just re-reading through your Saturday post πŸ™‚ At this point the happies are outweighing the not so happies quite considerably…I’m glad you enjoyed the Denali video: I thought it was something so special. People’s lives are so beautiful – I think that’s why I keep coming back to the personal. That’s where the magic is.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Hey Elysha – I’m glad you enjoyed the short film. I am not a dog lover, although I am a dog owner (I love my dog, but not others if you get my meaning) but that film is universal I think. So beautiful. Ah teeth. Fun and games.


  7. Congratulations on your University enrollment. I’m reading this a bit late, but last weekend was the huge exhale and sigh of relief that my son’s school year from hell finally ended. And the crap continued literally until the last full day of school. (Still working on putting it behind me). We spent the weekend doing noting but playing and taking in a buddy of my son’s for the weekend.

    For some reason, I’ve never gotten into Haiku. It doesn’t have a pleasing rhythmic sense for me. But I do love that because they are so short, words must be picked with great care and precision.

    Hope your week is going well. We’re off to the beach for a few days, although the weather is supposed to be overcast and might drizzle on us one day.


    • Ah, school struggles Susan. You must be happy to be on your summer break to give yourself and your son a break from it. He is going into highschool in the new school year isn’t he? Oh, i don’t think you call it highschool. I hope this change is a positive one for you both.
      Haiku – i’ve never gotten into it either, and would never have played with it except that it was part of a course I was doing. In a way, although it is definitely not my favourite way to write, it was a relief to be freed from the explainations and wordy descriptions, which is how I normally express myself. SO, yes neither good nor bad, just something different.
      My week has been good – lots of hard work and a hugely successful event yesterday that the P&C were catering for, which went well thank the Goddess. there is only one week of school before we have a two week winter break, which I am looking forward to! Oh yes, and I start University at the same time that school breaks πŸ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

      • We have what is called Middle School that is usually grades 6, 7, &8. Then on to High School (grades 9-12). But some places have Junior High School (grades 7&8). Our town has Middle School that is grades 7&8 (go figure). So Liitle Man will be in 7th grade at our middle school; the first time with a different teacher per subject. And a grade with about 317 fellow students. Looking forward to different. Optimistic that it will be good change.

        Liked by 1 person

      • So, your kids begin their school year in January? I never thought about it until just now. Ours start in September. Off for the farming season (end of June, returning the first week of September) is how I believe it began.


      • Yes, late January. The kids break just before Christmas and have six weeks off over the summer.
        That’s interesting , about the farming season. I had never thought about it like that, although, our growing season is longer than cold countries. no doubt we just kept on with an old custom that we brought over from a cold country. It works though. It’s nice to idle the days away in summer.

        Liked by 1 person

  8. I haven’t watched the video yet, but have stuck it aside for later, tissues before 7am eh?
    Haiku, yep…nah, I appreciate them but that’s it. There something about them that I simply don’t get.
    And as for winter, Australians really don’t do winter well at all do we. Tasmania and Melbourne, I’m sure they’ve got it sussed, anything further North though? Sydney’s idea of winter is a scarf and thongs, (with the blue skin you speak of) our houses don’t do it well though either.


    • Hey Brydie – yep, tears before 7am. Why not? πŸ™‚
      i think you’re right – north of Sydney is where all the winter deniers live. Scarfs and thongs – hilarious. Our houses on the whole are oriented towards summer and keeping cool…which is fine for 9 months of the year. We are fortunate in that we have a wood fire which keeps us toasty in winter. it gets cold out in the hinterland.
      I don’t know if I even appreciate Haiku πŸ™‚ It’s just an interesting form to play with – keeping it short and sweet within a structure. Interesting! Enjoy your weekend xo


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